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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - Money and Wealth - Using Positive Reinforcement to Boost Productivity: My Top Leadership Tips

Money and Wealth

Using Positive Reinforcement to Boost Productivity: My Top Leadership Tips

Roy Y. Gagaza

As a leader in business, it can be tempting to use punitive methods to help get your team on board, but doing so often backfires. Instead of focusing on what’s going wrong, focusing on what’s going right can be the change you need to boost the productivity of your team.

Create Meaningful Rewards

Before you were a leader, you were an employee, and you likely remember what it felt like to have months of hard work rewarded with a measly half day off or a box of donuts in the break room. When your employees are going above and beyond to get the job done, reward them in a way that’s commensurate with the value they bring to the company. Whether that means a bonus, a raise, an increase in vacation days, or a promotion, meaningful rewards let employees know that their hard work is noticed, and can push them (and those around them) to continue to achieve.

Offer Public and Private Praise

Knowing what kind of positive reinforcement works for your employees matters, and knowing their individual styles and personalities is key when it comes to finding out what type of positive reinforcement helps them stay motivated. Some employees thrive on public recognition, and the pride they feel from a shout-out during a company-wide meeting will keep them pushing forward. Others would feel mortified to be celebrated so publicly, and would much prefer a note of appreciation waiting for them on their desk on Monday morning. Know what kind of praise pushes your employees, and tailor your celebrations to the style that makes sense for them.

Bask in the Glory of a Job Well Done

I get it–when your team accomplishes a huge project or hits a stated goal, it can be tempting to immediately move onto the next goal. Doing so, however, doesn’t give your team a chance to regroup and celebrate their success. When you hit a huge goal, giving your employees a day or two of downtime to unwind, recalibrate, and get focused can go a long way in helping your team avoid burnout. There’s no need to frame this as a reward–simply telling them to work from home for a day, take it easy until the start of the next week, can give them the clear headspace that they need to dive in headfirst to your next task a few days later.

Look for the Positive

We all know that we’re supposed to sandwich employee criticism between two compliments. While this can be an effective way to deliver constructive feedback, it’s also important to call employees in to simply celebrate what’s going well. This can also help employees feel more comfortable coming to you when they need help, or when they have an idea about how to streamline a process within their company. Another note on keeping a positive attitude in the office: when an employee tells you how another member of the team helped them or went above and beyond, don’t keep that information to yourself. Letting the employee know how valued and appreciated they are helps them see that both you and their coworkers value what they bring to the office.

Set the Tone

As a leader within your organization, your team is going to take their cues from you. If they see and hear that you spend most of your time complaining about what’s not going right, they’ll do the same–and they’ll be nervous about becoming your next target if they make a mistake. In a negative work environment, employees can feel like negativity is the way into the good graces of their boss, which can have a negative impact on productivity and morale. When you take negativity in stride and choose to focus on the positive, your employees will be more likely to do the same.


Written by Roy Y. Gagaza.

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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - Money and Wealth - Using Positive Reinforcement to Boost Productivity: My Top Leadership Tips
Roy Y. Gagaza
Roy Y. Gagaza is the Founder and CEO of Journey Wealth Management, LLC. Roy Y. Gagaza is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine. Connect with him through LinkedIn.